By Beth Plutner
Let’s say you have an elderly member of your family who needs care. It could be a parent, a grandparent, or a great-grandparent! Whoever they are, there’s no doubt you want them to have the best care possible. However, in today’s busy world, you may not always have time to take care of an elderly loved one. That’s where Wejob.org comes in. Here at our organization, we have several trained and professional virtual companions to choose from. Our companions will be there to entertain, talk to, protect, and take care of your loved one.
Companionship is important for a senior’s mental health
No one wants to be alone or isolated. In a senior’s case, however, being alone can cause serious problems. A lack of companionship can lead to depression, which in turn, leads to more isolated feelings. If a senior is by themselves a lot, they can also get hurt without anyone being there to help them. The last thing you’d want is for your loved one to be unable to get help if they get hurt.
Tip: Some seniors prefer being alone, and that’s okay. However, don’t assume this is the case. Always ask.
Companionship is also important for a senior’s physical health
It’s not just your loved one’s state of mind that can be negatively impacted by isolation. It can take a toll on their physical health, too. If a senior is isolated all of the time, they may not feel the motivation to get enough exercise or eat right. This in turn can cause health problems such as obesity and heart disease.
This is where a companion can help. A companion can monitor what your loved one eats and how much exercise they get. They can even encourage your loved one to try new exercises and foods.
Tip: Make charts for the exercise your loved one should get and the food they should eat. With the caregiver’s help, they can use this to keep track of their progress.
The health risks caused by chronic loneliness
A senior feeling lonely is more dangerous than one may realize. Chronic loneliness can cause a senior to feel paranoid and distrustful of other people. Feeling too lonely can also reduce the amount of inflammation-preventing and immune cells in a person’s immune system. This can lead to your loved one getting serious diseases or viruses, or having already existing ones worsened. Having a virtual companion can make your loved one feel less lonely, and may even save their life.
Tip: Having a sense of purpose can also help your loved one feel less lonely and healthier. Have your loved one keep a goal notebook. You and their companion can help your loved one keep track of what they want to accomplish.
How a senior can benefit from a virtual companion
There are many benefits to your loved one having their own virtual companion. Having someone to talk to gives the brain much-needed stimulation. This also helps them to be empathetic towards others. Social interactions with a virtual companion helps to give a senior’s brain a good workout. A companion can encourage your loved one to try something new. The two of them can learn new things together. What’s more, having a companion will help your loved one to get more out of life, and enjoy it more.
Fun fact: Social activity in the brain has been shown to ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Our companions provide entertainment to your loved ones
One way our companions will take care of your loved one is by entertaining them. There are many options to choose from, depending on what your loved one enjoys doing. Your loved one may want a book to be read virtually to them. Or, they may want to play a game such as Uno. If your loved one is creative, they can draw or paint a picture with the companion’s help. Either way, with a virtual companion around, your loved one will never be bored again.
Tip: Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. All your loved one may want for entertainment is for their companion to engage in a meaningful conversation with them.
Tip: Your loved one can work on learning a new skill or art project, then show you what they’ve learned.
Reminders to take medication from a virtual companion
One of the most important parts of a senior’s health is taking their medication on time. However, they may not always remember to do so. Taking medication on time is crucial for it to be as effective as possible. Brain lesions are changes in brain tissue that can weaken a senior’s memory capabilities. With a companion’s assistance, your loved one can receive reminders to take their medication at the right time.
Tip: A companion can help your loved one set up an alarm to go off at the time they need their medication.
Tip: If your loved one enjoys being creative, they can either knit labels or use colorful tape to differentiate their different medications.
Seniors and sleep
Another important way for a senior to stay healthy is by getting enough sleep during the night. It helps the body and brain repair themselves for the next day. However, getting a full night’s sleep can be more difficult than you might think. Pain or sleeplessness may keep them up during the night. They may also wake up feeling confused and disoriented(A condition called sleep disturbance.). This is where a virtual companion can help. They can check on your loved one as they sleep, so they don’t feel alone. A companion can also provide a comforting sleeping environment, with soothing sounds or music. If your loved one experiences sleep disturbance, a companion can gently guide them back to bed and help them get back to sleep.
Tip: Give your loved one photos of you and your family. This familiarity can add to the comfort they may need to get to sleep.
Tip: Make sure the companion doesn’t allow your loved one to consume stimulants like caffeine and alcohol too late in the day. These substances can hinder their ability to go to sleep.
Tip: If your loved one has a particularly hard time getting to sleep, ask the companion to administer some melatonin, a medication that aids in sleep.
Do you have an elderly loved one that needs care? Unable to be for them all the time due to work or other commitments? Then you need a virtual care companion! Here at WeJob.org and WeJob.org/seniors, we care about helping take care of the elderly in all ways possible. Our companions are trained to take care of the elderly as if they were their own family. Your loved one will be given entertainment, companionship, and a guardian. For more information, go to https://wejob.org/virtual-care-for-seniors.
Institute on Aging. (2018, March 21). The importance of companionship for seniors: Socialization and better health. IOA Blog. Retrieved March 4, 2022, from https://blog.ioaging.org/senior-socialization/importance-companionship-seniors-socialization-better-health/
9 Enjoyable Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility
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https://dailycaring.com/9-enjoyable-activities-for-seniors-with-limited-mobility / Youtube.com . (n.d.). Caregiver Training: Sleep Disturbances | UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program . Retrieved March 2, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skgL6XzLqG8.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2021, December 3). Managing alzheimer's sleep problems. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 2, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/alzheimers/art-20047832
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